Katia Labèque / Marielle Labèque

Erik Satie

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AllMusic Review by

One might have thought that Satie's charmingly eccentric and obscurely evocative piano music would fit the French piano duo Katia and Marielle Labèque, like a silk chemise, but this disc of his most popular pieces for piano two-hands and piano four-hands is their first recording of any of his works. They divide the two-hand works so that, for example, Katia takes the first and third Gymnopédies and all the Gnossiennes, while Marielle takes the second Gymnopédie and all the Sports et Divertissements. Katia is the more willful of the sisters, making more of the composer's deliberate avoidance of most dynamics and phrasing markings to have her way with the music, while Marielle is more interpretively reserved but subtly sensual, with richer textures and a plusher tone. Together, however, they form one of the great telepathic piano duos, and their performances of the Trois Morceaux en forme de Poire, and Trois petites Pièces montées are wholly unified and entirely lovely. Although the piano sound may be a bit too cool and hazy for listeners who prefer hot and clear, fans of Satie or the Labèques are likely to enjoy this disc.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Gymnopédies (3), for piano (also orchestrated by Debussy)
1
3:33
2
3:14
3
2:52
Morceaux (3) en forme de poire (3 pieces in the form of a pear), for piano, 4 hands or orchestra
4
3:34
5
0:47
6
1:13
7
2:16
8
2:52
9
2:37
10
1:13
Gnossiennes (6), for piano
11
3:49
12
2:23
13
3:13
14
2:03
15
3:03
16
1:38
Petites pièces (3) montées (3 Little Stuffed Pieces), for orchestra
17
1:13
18
0:57
19
1:45
Embryons desséchés (3 dried-up embryos), for piano
20
2:24
Avant-dernières pensées (Next-to-last thoughts), pieces (3) for piano
21
1:05
Sports et divertissements (Sports and diversions), pieces (21) for piano
22
0:53
23
0:34
24
0:16
25
0:35
26
0:26
27
0:50
28
0:49
29
0:34
30
0:32
31
0:37
32
0:30
33
0:29
34
0:20
35
0:46
36
0:25
37
0:36
38
1:13
39
0:22
40
0:38
41
0:27
42
0:41
Véritables préludes flasques pour un chien (Truly Flabby Preludes for a Dog), for piano
43
0:54
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